In an effort to get senators to agree to the Obama Administration’s plan to attack Syria, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has sought to sell the idea that they are “limiting” the scope of the war, by adding a 60-day soft deadline to the conflict.
The deadline would fit with the ongoing narrative of a limited, punitive action against the Assad government, but also leaves open the prospect of Congressional extensions of the war, and could in practice be extended more with an additional resolution.
And that’s the best case scenario. With President Obama openly insisting that he is free to attack Syria however he sees fit with or without the vote, it is absurd to imagine he’ll feel constrained by anything in the resolution.
Indeed, the last time Congressional votes were supposed to end a war, during the attacks on Libya, President Obama flat out ignored the resolution, insisting that as “commander in chief” he wasn’t bound by it.
The “limits” in the resolution are simply a ploy to try to get the “on the fence” Congressmen to vote for the war, but once it starts, all limits are out the window, and officials aren’t making any real secret of that.